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Elderly Patients Survival Rates Are Equal

Elderly Patients Survival Rates Are Equal

A new study has found that survival rates in the elderly are equal to that of the rest of the population after undergoing bowel and gall bladder surgery and that the elderly should not be discriminated against purely on the basis of age when deciding their suitability for surgery.

A paper “Major Abdominal Surgery in Octogenarians” will be presented today by Dr Saleh Abbas, a Research Fellow at the Auckland Hospital at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

Held over four days between Tuesday 6 May and Friday 9 May the scientific gathering attracts up to 1500 medical specialists from around the world with over 1000 scientific papers being presented on the latest cutting edge technology and surgical break throughs.

Elderly patients who had surgery between the 1 July 1997 and 1 July 1999 were surveyed and their 30 day mortality, major complications, hospital stay, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) stay and long term survival patterns were reviewed.

“The information we gained showed that long term survival is similar to the rest of the population after taking into account deaths which occur whilst the patient is still hospitalised,” said Dr Saleh Abbas.

“Essentially what we were able to conclude from the results was that elective surgery is well tolerated by the elderly.

“We surveyed 180 patients with a median age of 84 years of age, 100 of which had undergone emergency procedures and 80 having elective surgery,” he said.

The study indicated that whilst there was a higher in hospital morbidity and mortality in the emergency group that long term the survival rates were equal to those of the “age adjusted” population.

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